Sep 122011
Authors: Erik Carman

At the end of August, a CSU student was attacked on his way home. The student, a freshman resident of Durward Hall who wished to not be named in this article, was returning home from work when he witnessed a man shouting obscenities at a fellow coworker.

After asking the man to stop, the freshman was answered with a slur of whiskey-soaked insults and a left hook to the temple, the student said.

“I was a bit shaken up. I feel like this could have happened to anybody,” said fellow Durward resident and friend of the victim, freshmen equine sciences major Kira Mazzola. “I like to think Fort Collins is a safe community, but there are definitely some creepers out there.”

Robin Scoville, a Martial Arts expert with 15 years of experience in teaching women’s self-defense, said that in order to avoid situations like this, prevention is key.

“The most important thing in self-defense is prevention. You want to avoid the altercation all together,” said Scoville, who teaches at Trybz Martial Arts in Fort Collins.

She said to avoid these situations, walking confidently is important. This entails walking with head up, shoulders back, back straight and eyes forward. Also, make eye contact, Scoville said.

“A predator or even some drunken guy will think twice about targeting someone like that,” she said. “They tend to aim for people who seem weaker or distracted.”

Scoville also said it is important to be aware of what’s going on around you when you are being attacked.

“It’s essential to assess the situation,” she said. “Are you defending somebody? If not, run. There’s nothing wrong with running away. Run to a populated location.”

“If you have to defend yourself,” Scoville said, “Remember not to just use one strike. Use multiple strikes. Don’t just knee them in the groin, stomp the top of their foot with your heel. You’d be surprised how easily the instep breaks. After that, then knee them in the groin. The eye gouge is pretty effective as well.”

When it comes to dealing with predators, Corp. Ramsey Crochet is an expert.

“Make sure you only damage the aggressor enough to get away,” said Ramsey, a supervisor at the Colorado State University Police Department. “If they’re on the floor and you’re still hitting them, that’s a [legal] problem.”

On the issue of prevention, Ramsey said to stay in a group, walk in well-lit areas and don’t insert yourself into an unnecessary altercation. However, what Ramsey really stressed was the school’s safe-walk program.

“I always advise students to use the safe-walk program. Just call and we can walk or drive you to where you need to be,” Ramsey said.

Students who have used RamRide will be well-versed in the wait times associated with school transportation services, Ramsey assured, “the average wait time is 10 minutes. As soon as your phone call is received, safe-walk is on their way.”

Safe-walk covers the entirety of campus and the surrounding three blocks. They can be reached at 970-491-1155 or by using any of the ‘blue lit’ phones around campus.

“Remember: if someone is harassing you, following you, or if you see someone else being harassed, call us – we want to know about it. It’s what we’re here for,” Ramsey said. “Remember to tell us where you are. This isn’t a movie; we can’t trace your cell phone. Tell us your location, and we’ll be there.”

Collegian writer Eric Carman can be reached at

Defense Strategies

  • Walk confidently, keep your head up and make eye contact

  • In the instance of self-defense, use multiple strikes
  • If you suspect trouble or encounter harassment, call 911
  • Call safe walk at 970-491-1155 to avoid conflict
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